“Are you okay?” Andrew sent and just like always, Becca’s stomach dropped. She looked up to the ceiling as if it held answers to the questions that ran through her head. The questions seemed to run so fast, she wasn’t even sure what they were.
There she was, still stuck in a hospital bed waiting for test results. She knew it was only a matter of time that Andrew would find out. Her father never left the office but on that day, he had visited her that morning, making him late for work.
Jenny had stepped out to meet with a client. She might not have put too much work in, but her father was putting the pressure on. She had big ideas and it was time to put the weight behind them, if only for a time until someone else could take over. That was status quo for both she and John. John thought that when you could get others inspired enough to do the grunt work for you, you were a great leader. Becca disagreed with her father on that one. She felt he only had the respect because he was the one with the power over whether or not others kept their jobs. She was most likely correct in this case.
The nurse walked in. “How are you doing?” he asked. Becca was still lost in her thoughts, staring up at the tile and the small black holes that kept her attention while her thoughts swirled in a nervous wreck around her head.
“Oh, shit,” she said. “I have to go.” She remembered Cora. The poor cat hadn’t been fed since the previous day. She pictured the little thing meowing her little meows, dying at the front door, the house a mess of plant materials and whatever else the little shit would have destroyed in order to gain anyone’s attention.
Becca climbed out of bed as the nurse tried to coax her back. “Whoa,” he said. “What’s the hurry?”
She met his green eyes as she stepped up, practically pushing her body into his. It wasn’t her fault he stood right next to the bed. They both paused. Everything stood still for a split second.
Her phone rang. Andrew’s name popped up on the screen. Decline.
She heard the nurse behind her trying to convince her of the many reasons why she should stay. The test results weren’t all back, she could risk falling if she passed out again, she would worry her family. Becca ignored them all.
“Look, I know this is your job,” she said after she had slipped her jeans on under her gown and turned her back to him in order to pull her shirt over her head. “But could you please just get me those one papers so I can sign them and leave?” She waved her hand around as if to motion the getting of papers. “I don’t want you to get in trouble, but I am also leaving like right now, so you’ll want to hurry if you want me to show that you did everything you could to stop me.” She said all of this as she slipped into her sandals. “I’ll meet you at the nurses station,” she finished.
She found her bag in the closet where her clothes had hung. Her phone rang again. Jenny. Decline. She didn’t want to talk to anyone. She could text her later. She pulled up her app to call for a car and quickly tapped the screen as she made her way out of the room and to the nurses station.
She vaguely heard the nurse giving his speech for her choosing to leave against medical advice, but ignored it all as she signed the lines taking all responsibility in case her decision turned into a stupid one. She looked up and finally saw his name tag, “Thank you, Marcus,” she said.
The black, compact car waited for her out front and she climbed in the passenger seat.
“I don’t get too many hospital breakouts,” the woman said, putting the car into gear.
Becca chuckled. “It’s not like that,” she said. “I’m really fine, I just need to hurry back and get my cat fed.”
“Crazy cat lady,” the woman said as she peered to look for traffic behind her. Becca heard her and laughed.
“If you only knew,” Becca replied. She wasn’t in the mood for small talk but appreciated the driver’s humor in her situation. She was beginning to feel exactly like what she expected crazy cat ladies would feel.
She was surprised to see the house was not a mess when she opened the door and was greeted by Cora’s purrs and rubs against her leg. The smell in the air was of fresh flowers and she saw the vase next to the door with the letter leaning against it.
I am so sorry that you are ill. If there is anything else I can do to assist you, please contact me.
In the matters that we were discussing, I will need your attention at your earliest convenience. It is of the utmost importance. Please do not delay as it could quite literally lead to a life and death situation.
Yours in service,
Becca shuttered and felt a cold chill pass through her body. Not only did she never want to see this man again, she was disgusted by the idea that he had been in the house without her. It was time to change the locks. It was also time to involve her dad in order to find that loophole.
Cora jumped onto the table and pushed her nose on her arm in an effort to grab her attention. “Hey, girl,” Becca said and patted Cora on the head. She paused and looked around the front entrance to the house. It’s staircase, long and intricately designed wood that had been painted to make each design stand out in its own right, seemed to call to her. Knowing each small twist and turn of the wood stood in its minute level of importance made her feel a little less insignificant in the world.
Her phone rang again. This time it was her dad. One thing she hated, was the amount of attention given to her in these times. Not that she didn’t love attention, but each person had their own idea of how she should proceed, what she should do, and how she should handle everyone and everything. She was certain that Jenny filled John in at least enough that his fatherly protective instinct had kicked in. There was really no other reason for his calling. He was all business in all areas of his life.
She again waited for the ringing to stop. She opened up her texts and selected Jenny’s name. “I’m fine. Back at the house. I’ll get a hold of you later,” she typed. Then she copied and pasted it to her dad’s name. She tossed her phone onto the small table and walked away, ignoring the replies. She needed a few moments to sort all the words that ran through her head. Never silent, always tormenting, her brain wasn’t content with her going with the flow and having just experienced…whatever the hell that was she had experienced that landed her in the hospital. No, she needed to be alone.